Self-Guided & Independent Tours & Trips 2020

575 trips to Self-Guided & Independent tours from 210 tour companies. 2,248 reviews. 4.8/5 avg rating.

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  • 7 Trips meet your criteria (Trips 1 to 15 shown)
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price

Duration Dropdown

Countries Visited

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Rivers & Seas Visitied

Attractions & Cities Visited

Activities & Interests

Supplier (Company)

Flight & Transport Inclusions

Continents Visited

Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Travelstride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more

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UNESCO Sites & Spanish Paradors

7 days
$ 1,571
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Indulge in tapas to your heart's content!
  • Stay in paradores- unique hotels that represent Spain’s heritage, many of which originated as castles, convents and other historical buildings.
  • Stroll through picturesque parks and bustling squares, and hear locals playing Spanish guitar on the streets.
  • Experience the soul of Spain in the form of dance with your included flamenco show.
  • Follow the footsteps of history as you explore your destination cities, each with their own vibrant past.
Visits:
Madrid, Salamanca, San Juan Islands, Toledo, Spain
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Highlights of Spain

13 days
$ 2,182
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Discover remnants of ancient Roman rule in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter.
  • In Barcelona, explore the eclectic works of Gaudí during the day, then unwind at one of the city's many beaches in the evening.
  • In Granada, discover the secrets of a former sultan's palace, which sits atop a hill.
  • Treat yourself to a flamenco show in Seville, the rumored birthplace of it all.
  • Explore Madrid's La Latina neighborhood, known for its overabundance of tapas bars!
Visits:
Barcelona, Granada, Madrid, San Francisco, Seville, Toledo, Valencia, Spain
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Spain's Wine Regions

7 days
$ 1,972
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Experience the Rioja wine region where you will get a real taste of the local flavor.
  • Enjoy the perfect balance of guided tours and free time on your own in each city.
  • See a little bit of everything: lush landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant cities.
  • Discover the history and beauty that lives in Madrid from the Royal Palace to the Tapas bars!
  • Visit the Marques de Riscal Winery and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, both designed by world-famous architect Frank O. Gehry.
Visits:
Bilbao, Madrid, Spain
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Madrid & the Spectacular South

9 days
$ 1,669
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Fall in love with Picasso's gut-wrenching Guernica, on display in Madrid's Reina Sofia museum.
  • Treat yourself to a Flamenco show in Madrid, where you'll experience firsthand the soul of Spain in the form of dance.
  • Indulge in the flavors of Spain at a tapas bar or two!
  • Get lost in the beauty of Spain's Architecture; you'll be mesmerized by the patterns of Cordoba's Mezquita.
  • Enjoy the leisurely pace of the Spanish lifestyle, perhaps even while being serenaded by the sound of a Spanish guitar!
Visits:
Córdoba, Granada, Madrid, Malaga, Spain
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Barcelona, Costa Brava & the Countryside

8 days
$ 1,530
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Enjoy the freedom of your own car to roam far and wide.
  • Stroll through the Museu Picasso in Barcelona and follow the footsteps of this iconic painter.
  • Take a ride on the Montserrat Aeri cable car. See amazing views while giving your legs a break.
  • When in Spain, tasting local culinary favorites is a must. Try Fideua, then indulge in the sweet dessert, Crema Catalana.
  • Experience overwhelming beauty at the Jardi Botanic Marimurtra in Costa Brava.
Visits:
Barcelona, Spain
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Ibiza Beach Getaway

6 days
$ 1,596
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Highlights
  • Get to know Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain.
  • Enjoy the luxury of an all-inclusive resort, including unlimited drinks!
  • Stroll the charming streets of Old Town, a UNESCO-certified site.
  • Make it a beach day, everyday! Cala d'Hort beach is one of the island's finest.
  • Indulge in some of Ibiza's finest cuisine, from paella to simply grilled seafood.
Visits:
Spain
View Trip

Solo Travel: The Heart of Spain

0 days
$ 2,241
Travel Style : N/A
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
Visits:
Spain
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Top Self-Guided & Independent Experiences and Attractions

Top Self-Guided & Independent Experiences

Sampling culinary delicacies in Tuscany

Ascending the terraced hillsides to reach upper Ghandruk that offers a fine view of Annapurna mountain range

Strolling through the cobblestone streets of Trinidad and enjoying the sight of colorful houses

Enjoying a self guided walking tour at your own pace

Enjoying the hospitality of a local host

Having a local guide that shows you around town

Volunteering at a rehabilitation and conservation center of wild animals

Exploring the Amazon jungles with local guides 

Hitching a lift on a cargo boat to Timbuktu 

Taking a train journey through Europe with suggested stops planned out by a travel expert

Learning some of the local language when staying with a family in Nepal

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Self-Guided & Independent Trip Reviews

2,248 Self-Guided & Independent Tour Reviews - Summary 98% Recommend

4.8 out of 5
Excellent 1,913
Great 244
Average 50
Disappointing 20
Terrible 21
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Booked a 5 day self drive with…

2.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Guide 2.0
  • Activities 2.0
  • Lodging 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 2.0

Booked a 5 day self drive with Authentic Vacations (A.V.) last year. Agent pushed the insurance saying it would cover us if anything arose forcing us to cancel. Fast forward to this year and Covid-19, First agent laid off and we were assigned another agent that we had no relationship with. The EU is closing their boarders to travelers from the US. We called to cancel our trip and found out that A.V. will hold back 20% of the land cost and we also lose out on the $509 travel insurance. What is the purpose of paying for insurance if they don't provide any service. Recommend you find a local travel agent who will better serve their customers.

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Operator Authentic Vacations

We had the best time ever!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

We had the best time ever! It was truly the best vacation we've ever taken. The people were fabulous, service oriented, friendly, accommodating...a pleasure to be around! Everything was just perfect!

The accommodations, fabulous, the food was way too delicious. We highly recommend this trip to anybody and kept toasting Costco along with three other couples for the way they put this trip together it was really brilliant thank you so much for your help with all our questions and how quickly you got back to us for each inquiry you are very efficient at your job. Thank you so much!

On another note, on the safari, Francois put together a surprise celebration luncheon at their treehouse to celebrate our daughter Kate's medical school graduation. It was truly amazing and we couldn't have been happier or more appreciative of all they did. It was so special and they put so much effort into it—leaving champagne, a beautiful lunch, and also baking a cake just for this occasion! It was such a nice, wonderful touch and made for a fabulous memory!

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Operator Lion World Travel

Covid19 changed EVERYTHING, CAREFUL.

2.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Guide 2.0
  • Activities 2.0
  • Lodging 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 2.0

I chose Authentic Vacations because of their great reputation, and "peace of mind" guarantee. COVID19 HAS CHANGED EVERYTHING, CAREFUL! We were booked for 9/2020 13 night trip to the UK, Uh Oh. 3/2020 we contacted our first agent to find she was furloughed 2/2020. Uh Oh. Having already paid Authentic $10K+ we tried rescheduling, NO GO. We then asked for a refund. Our 2nd agent, though cordial, had his hours CUT BACK early 3/2020. After 2 months of many contacts with Authentic and NONE of our $10K back, we have hired an attorney. Because Authentic has dragged their feet on getting our money back, we are panicked that any of the tour providers involved could be, if not already insolvent. Will update this review if possible.

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Operator Authentic Vacations

A fradualent company to do business with, customer service is non-existenent

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0

Booked summer travel and then they cancelled the trip. They gave me a travel voucher to use by end of December, no bookings available and any comparable travel is $1000.00 more, with no guarantee when they will accept the voucher. The right thing for them to do is refund the money now. Anyone who books travel with them now will lose their money.

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Operator Great Value Vacations

It was absolutely fabulous.

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

It was absolutely fabulous. Marataba is an experience beyond words. The animals speak for themselves but the lodge is extraordinary. Capetown was lovely but Marataba is an impossible act to precede. We will be recommending you and your colleagues without reservation and with the greatest enthusiasm.

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Operator Lion World Travel

I worked with Tim on a 10 day trip…

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

I worked with Tim on a 10 day trip chauffeur driver for my 84 yr. old clients. They said it was the best trip they have ever taken. Tim was great to work with and so knowledgeable. It was a pleasure to work with him.

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Operator Authentic Vacations

All Self-Guided & Independent tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Self-Guided & Independent trips.

575 trips from 210 tour companies with 2,248 reviews

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